The Belize Zoo (aka "the best little zoo in the world") is located 31 miles west of Belize City. The zoo sits on 84 acres and houses more than 100 animals indigenous to Belize, many of which are endangered. Unlike most zoos in the world, the animals at the Belize Zoo are not kept in cages or surrounded by bars or barred concrete bunkers, but rather are housed in large vegetation-filled enclosures of mesh and wood to closely replicate the animal's natural habitat.
The zoo first opened in 1983 when 17 animals were abandoned after the filming of a natural history documentary. On December 7, 1991, the new zoo opened featuring many more animals in new spacious natural exhibits. Today they are one of Belize's leading environmental education, conservation, and wildlife research NGOs with many programs including:
- Teacher training workshops
- School visits to the zoo
- Reintroduction of endangered species to the wild
- Conservation camp
- Annual Birthday Celebration for April, the Tapir
Some animals currently on exhibit at the zoo are: vultures, deer, tapirs, spider monkeys, keel-billed toucans, spectabled owls, ocelots, white lipped peccaries, pumas, collared peccaries, howler monkeys (baboon), tayras, agouti, pacas, jaguars, margays, snakes, Jabiru storks, crocodiles, kinkajous, jaguarundis, gray foxes, curassows, parrots, barn owls, coatimundis, raccoons, hawks, collared aracaris, falcons, eagles, crested guans, and the scarlet macaw.
A visit to the Belize Zoo is a great way to assist with preserving the natural environment that so many of our visitors enjoy!